It is interesting to note the comparison of how the rioters and Andrew were ultimately treated with Andrew receiving a seven year transportation sentence and many of the rioters set free or at most given a six month sentence.
The riot took place in Rasolis due to the government in London re-establishing the right of local landowners to provide their patronage to the appointment of a minister in their local Church of Scotland. The people wanted the congregation to have the right to select and appoint their own minister. This argument between the government and the people led to congregations and ministers walking out of their churches and joining the Free Church.
In Rasolis, the congregation objected strongly when the landlords chose to appoint the Rev. John MacKenzie and on September 28th 1843, the day of his induction, a crowd gathered at the church and stood with stones and sticks which they then used against the authorities.
Eventually, some of the rioters were arrested, some after a very audacious jail break, and were held prisoner at the newly opened Dingwall Courthouse and Jail. It is very interesting that most of those held in Dingwall were freed without charge with only a few being given a sentence of six months. It seems strange to me that after such an uprising against the authorities, which was reported nationally, that such leniency was given to the perpetrators when Andrew, over a dubious theft of a horse, was dealt with so harshly. I find this incredible. You can read more about the 'Resolis Riot' here:
"I know that my father's horse was taken out of the stable between Friday night and Saturday morning last. I did not see it put into the stable on Friday night, but on Saturday morning I saw the stable door open and the stable empty.
The mare was brought back this morning by a sheriff's officer. I saw it and knew it to be my father's. My father is bed ridden. I did not see Andrew Ballantyne last week All which is truth. I cannot write."